Buying a gift for someone who loves videogames shouldn’t be too hard, especially when there are so many great titles available at the moment — not to mention the amount of game-adjacent options available too. But if the person you’re buying for is more into the retro experience it can sometimes be a bit hard to grab them something that fits their tastes. To help you out, we’ve put together a few retro game gift suggestions.
From books counting down the greatest videogames, to desk-sized arcade cabinets and remakes of classic titles, these are all solid gift options for the retro-inclined fan.
Cartoonist Box Brown has spent the better part of the last decade making graphic novels based on true stories, and his retelling of the creation of Tetris might just be his best. It’s definitely one of my favourite comics of the last couple of years.
Brown is a fantastic cartoonist with a simple, clean style and he’s really done his homework here. Tetris goes deep on the creation of the classic game, tracking how the hobby project of a Soviet software developer became one of the best-selling videogames of all-time. This is a perfect gift for someone who loves comicbooks and/or games.
If the person you’re buying a gift for is someone who appreciates a solid nostalgia trip, Resident Evil 2 is the right game for them.
It’s a fantastic remake of an all-time classic. You play as either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield, as they attempt to escape the zombie infested Raccoon City. It’s a great example of why Resident Evil has established itself as the survival horror series.
You can also pick up the PS4 edition for an absolute steal, so get in and grab a deal while the getting is good!
Maybe it’s been a hot minute since they’ve picked up a game controller, but the person you’re buying for has console loyalties that still run deep. And nothing says, “I can still do a pitch perfect recreation of the PS1’s intro sound” quite like a shirt bearing the logo of Sony’s first console.
I think it’s pretty hard to find someone who hates Pac-Man. It’s an all-time classic that has endured the test of time, so the chance that the person receiving this will enjoy having their very own Pac-Man cabinet is pretty high.
Created by My Arcade, this desktop cabinet does a fantastic job of replicating that classic arcade experience. It’s not too small that playing it feels like a huge hassle, and not too big that it eats up a heap of desk space.
Even if they doesn’t spend that much time playing it, this thing looks fantastic. My Arcade have done a great job of recreating the look of the original cabinet design, with it’s weird Pac-Man character design.
8Bitdo have done a super job of updating a classic Nintendo controller. It’s a solid replica of the classic SNES controller, and feels great to use.
It’s compatible with Mac, Windows and Android operating systems, so the person you’re giving this to can get the most out of their retro games — emulated or otherwise. It also works with the Nintendo Switch, so the person receiving this gift can get the full throwback experience when playing something from the console’s online SNES library.
There are a lot of great books about retro games available, but for my money, I reckon this one is the best. It covers 100 classic videogames (duh), as chosen by the writers at Retro Gamer magazine.
Not content with being a simple list of titles, this book also includes a bunch of interviews with developers, information on how the games were made and in-depth discussions about how certain games impacted both the medium and wider culture.
It also looks fantastic, with crisp game screens and artwork, like advertising materials and behind-the-scenes photos. A great coffee table book that they can easily pick up and jump into whenever they feel like it.
If the person you’re buying for loves a good retro game but cabinets aren’t their thing, My Arcade also have a line of Pocket Players loaded with classic titles, like Bubble Bobble, Dig Dug and Pac-Man.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Galaga, so that gets my recommendation here.
My Arcade have designed this handheld to fit comfortably in your hands, and it does a good job of recreating the look of the original game. It’s an easy, fun way to kill time and a good gift option. This Pocket Player also includes Galaxian and Xevious.
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